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This one is a great place to start. As great as the later stuff is, it is sad that he turned his back on this kind of experimentation.
As someone noted on another site, Florian immersed in spirituality after this album spending years trying to capture his faith in music.
Over 4 stars. The album only consists of two side long tracks. The minute long title track is the most interesting song for me while the minute long Vuh overstays its welcome by at least 15 minutes IMO. The title track has some pretty great percussion parts but the song is so slow building that it has trouble keeping my attention.
The same can be said about Vuh which is even more slow building and repetitive. The musicianship is allright. The synth parts are not very challenging but this music is about atmosphere and not complex playing.
The percussion parts are well played. The production is pretty good and I enjoy certain parts of the album because of the good sound quality. Recommended to fans of very slow building and ambient music. Groundbreaking it might have been back then but in the end reviews reflect personal opinions and taste.
It turns into a haunting soundscape quickly and we can still hear the water. It's like were on a journey to God and we're travelling up a river. The water sounds stop when the percussion returns at 5 minutes.
It's still eerie and spacey. The percussion is the focus after 11 minutes. It settles 13 minutes in as piano joins in. The water sounds are back 16 minutes in to the end. Lots of atmosphere here.
A change a minute later as the organ again dominates filling the soundscape with it's sound. It's intense 11 minutes in. Very interesting for me to hear this other side of Florian from early in his career. Quite static when no drumming electronic sounds, from deep organ to cosmic psychedelic soundscapes. Moments with drumming are different, more meditative.
Possibly, main album's effect is in it's atmosphere. Because of characteristic early synths sounds, some electronic pulsation and slight Middle Eastern scent in moments, this album is great example of early electronic psychedelic music, besides of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze.
Must have for early electronic music fans, great album for everyone, interested in early German psychedelic. From next, their third in line, album Popol Vuh will change their direction radically, so it is a rare possibility to hear their electronic roots.
Popol Vuh's second album and first true masterpiece begins almost exactly where the debut album "Affenstunde" had left off a year earlier, with a side-long on vinyl proto- ambient title track built from a thin blanket of minimal, primitive Moog synthesizer noises, tucked around a bed of exotic percussion sounding like conga drums being played in a distant room, dimly heard through several layers of plywood.
But at a point near the minute mark something remarkable happens. The eponymous garden suddenly blossoms with the appearance of Fricke's gentle acoustic piano, and like a butterfly emerging from its synthetic chrysalis the music suddenly takes wing. The balance of the track another five or so minutes is delicate, haunting, slightly jazzy in a Teutonic sort of way, and totally enchanting, offering listeners a preview of the Popol Vuh sound after Fricke's religious conversion to strictly acoustic instrumentation on subsequent albums.
But don't allow yourself to become too relaxed: on the flipside of the original LP is the awe- inspiring twenty-minute mantra known as "Vuh". This is a different order of music altogether: an epic, mind-altering wall of sound blending huge sustained chords played on a cathedral organ with choral effects and noisy sheets of percussion, sounding at times almost Tibetan but closer resembling high mass in a sacred subterranean pre-Christian temple.
Visitors to these and other pages can grow old counting every instance of the word 'spiritual' in connection with the albums of Popol Vuh. But unlike the sledgehammer preaching of other musicians and I'm not specifically picking on NEIL MORSE this is the real deal: a truly visionary experience of near-mystical power and musical beauty, expressed entirely without the crutch of words.
Listening to "Vuh" at head-filling volumes between a pair of really good headphones, if possible recalls to this mind some of the unearthly landscape paintings of another German Romantic, Caspar David Friedrich, often depicting ruined gothic abbeys in stark but luminous winter woods. The vast organ chords at the climax of "Satz: Ebene", from his debut solo album "Irrlicht" released just one year afterward , were obviously sired by the good example of "Vuh". Later Popol Vuh albums would aspire toward other, very different epiphanies.
But this one marked a glorious end to Fricke's pioneering exploration of the Moog synthesizer; hereafter he would confine himself to acoustic keyboards and effects, in search of another, more organic synthesis of music and emotion.
The title track is excellent, going through a couple of sections that vary between electronic bleeps, sinister choral voices, intense percussion and a slightly jazzy ending that I'd wish to be just a tad longer. In just under 18 minutes it sums up pretty much everything Tangerine Dream would create in their Pink years.
Especially Alpha Centauri and Atem owe a lot to this piece. The second track Vuh is the absolute highlight, a masterpiece and possible the best piece of music made by Florian Fricke. On his later works he consciously tried to create a sort of divine trance, a religious quest for beauty and awe, but I don't believe he ever managed to do so as convincingly as he does it here.
And all it takes is clashing cymbals, some flutes , a heavy organ that fluctuates around a few continuous chords and some wordless vocals. It's one of the best pieces of early electronic music and it beats most of what its followers Cluster, Schulze and Tangerine Dream produced in the period. The CD release has two bonus tracks of which the first is almost equally marvelous as Vuh , with processed synth sounds is weaves Eastern melodies around a slowly sequenced electronic organ.
Brilliant atmosphere and one of a great example of how the German generation further explored the groundwork laid down by Pink Floyd in An essential title in the progressive electronic field, and certainly in its extended CD format it is a sublime early electronic album with a strong emotive impact. If you can open your mind to float along with these abstract sounds you will be in for a treat.
Obviously, it's not recommended if you're looking for action-Prog. Some percussive sounds on Moog. Then atmospheric Moog with the water sounds. Later percussion comes in. Moog gets more atonal and noisy. Then the Moog gets spacier. For awhile the big ole Moog dies down and the percussion playing gets faster and louder.
Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Popol Vuh Bettina Fricke. Affenstunde Hosianna Mantra This album also marked the start of exploring overtly religious themes rather than a more generally spiritual feeling within the music.
The group evolved to include a range of instruments: wind and strings , electric and acoustic alike, combined to convey a mystical aura that made their music spiritual and introspective. Popol Vuh influenced many other European bands with their uniquely soft but elaborate instrumentation, which took inspiration from the music of Tibet , Africa , and pre-Columbian America.
With music sometimes described as "ethereal", they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary world music , as well as of new age and ambient.
Over 4 stars. Discos Fundamentais. Kraftwerk - Kraftwerk 2 Germany, Krautrock, The infusion of a gong and the subsequent addition of dreamy cymbals and subdued tribal drumming, makes the track become otherworldly. Paternoster - Paternoster Austria, Krautrock I don't think this album will appeal to In Den Gärten Pharaos - Popol Vuh - Aguirre / In Den Gärten Pharaos (CD proggers. Isaiah - Isaiah Austria, Krautrock, Progress This is highly experimental and consists of only African and Turkish percussion and the Moog synthesizer organ.
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